As right-wing political operative Jacob Wohl faces legal action yet again—this time by Arizona’s attorney general—Right Wing Watch has exclusively obtained copies of documents we believe to be the source of many of Wohl’s legal troubles.
Roger Sollenberger reported in Salon Friday that the Arizona attorney general is “actively pursuing collection efforts” against Wohl, who failed to make any payments toward the nearly $38,000 the Arizona Corporation Commission ordered he pay in fines for misleading investors.
Before Wohl gained national notoriety for engaging in dubious smear campaigns against Trump opponents and making outlandish false claims, Wohl earned notoriety as a teenage hedge fund manager and engaged in business practices that landed him in hot water with regulators. In 2017, the National Futures Association issued a lifetime ban against Wohl, barring him from futures trading, after Wohl refused to cooperate with an NFA exampination spawning from press coverage of Wohl’s claimed financial activities and an investor complaint against his now-defunct company, Nex Capital Management. In its 2016 complaint against Wohl, NFA investigators refer to marketing documents, the details of which closely match those of the documents obtained by RWW.
Received by a potential investor in February 2016 and provided to RWW by a trusted intermediary source on the condition of anonymity, the self-declared “privileged and strictly confidential” pitch materials for Wohl’s now-defunct hedge fund contain numerous discrepancies, some of which RWW can report for the first time. RWW believes these materials, which can be found at the end of this article, are the source of many of Wohl’s legal troubles.
NFA investigators noted that Wohl’s promotional materials “included numerous examples of positive hypothetical performance, were missing disclosures, and mentioned Wohl managing customer funds prior to Wohl and Nex Capital’s registration as a [commodity trading advisor].” The documents obtained by RWW claim to show the results of “backtested” hypothetical trading data, claiming to have simulated 45,288 trades per year over a three-year period.
The Daily Beast noted last year that the promotional materials contained in the decision claimed Wohl had nine years of experience trading, which if true, would have meant “Wohl, then 17 or 18 years old, would have been trading since he was 8 or 9 years old.” The document obtained by RWW claims that Wohl, who would have been 18 years old when the document was dated in January 2016, had “10 years” of trading experience, which would have made him approximately 8 years old when he started trading.
A cursory review of the employees named in the documents, many of whom are described as holding specialized positions that would be uncommon for an investment startup of its scale, rendered mixed results. Two of the people included in the document told RWW they had no affiliation with Wohl’s business. Many others seemingly match the description of real people, but only one of those people—Wohl’s former business partner Matthew Johnson—has any affiliation with Nex Capital Management online.
On Friday, RWW reached one individual via LinkedIn who was listed as an employee. Mark Gaspar, who the obtained documents listed as Nex Capital’s “Chief Quantitative Strategist,” said that he was not affiliated with Wohl’s now-defunct company. Gaspar said he was asked to provide pro bono business advice to Wohl when Wohl was a student and that he had “no clue” why his name appeared in the document.
“Never did anything close to any business with him. He and his partner loaned me some books to give them feedback on, and after a few interactions, I became increasingly uncomfortable with them and returned the books and wished them luck,” Gaspar told RWW.
Another individual who was named as Nex Capital’s “Chief Marketing Officer” denied having ever worked with the company. When reached via email, the individual said that they had only briefly met Wohl and that most of the information attributed to them was innacurate.
Additionally, the document lists actress Rachel Fox as the company’s “Chief Innovation Officer”—an affiliation that Fox reportedly denied in an interview with business news site ValueWalk. Fox reportedly told ValueWalk that she did not know Wohl and only learned of him through a news article.
Wohl is also facing felony charges in California for unlawful sale of securities, for which he has pleaded not guilty. Those felony charges followed an investigation by the Riverside District Attorney’s office that began after a complaint from an Arizona man who had invested $75,000 in Wohl and his former business partner Matthew Johnson’s Montgomery Assets firm. After losing much of his money, the man reported Wohl to California law enforcement but later died by suicide.
Attempts to reach Wohl via Instagram direct message and a text message to a number affiliated with Wohl were unsuccessful. Reason magazine reported earlier this month that Wohl and former lobbyist Jack Burkman tried to pay a woman to claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top immunologist and a target of right-wing trolls, had assaulted her.